CD recorded in February & March 2020:
playlist (listen on YouTube):
1. Daiwagaku - 大和楽 (1.8)*
2. Murasaki Reibo - 紫鈴慕 (1.8)
3. Choshi - 調子 (2.4)
4. Banshiki - 盤渉 (2.6)
5. Kokū - 虚空 (2.8)
6. Mukaiji - 霧海箎 (1.8)
7. Tamuke - 手向 (2.6)
8. Kyorei - 虚鈴 (3.1)
*Numbers between brackets indicate the size of the shakuhachi used.
Total time: 67 min.
To purchase a copy of the CD, please contact me here
Suizen (吹禅) means “blowing meditation”. Until the 19th Century the shakuhachi functioned as a religious tool to the Japanese Zen Buddhist Komusō (monks of nothingness) of the Fuke sect. The pieces of the Honkyoku (本曲, "original pieces" played by those monks) in the recording are played in the version of Jin Nyodo (1892-1965). The first piece on the CD, Daiwagaku [track 1], “The Great Harmony of Music”, was composed by Jin Nyodo in 1941. It represents the cycle of the seasons, of human life, and of the day.
Murasaki Reibo [track 2] means “Murasaki Yearning for the Bell”. Murasaki (purple) refers to Murasakino (the Purple Field area in Kyoto). Reibo can also mean a spiritual quest; it is a common title in shakuhachi Honkyoku.
Choshi [track 3], “Unity of Heaven and Earth”, is often used as a warming-up piece, or a piece to get a feeling of the instrument, because of its brevity. Structurally it is related to Daiwagaku.
Banshiki [track 4], “pass over”, was traditionally used in a ceremony known as Kuyo no Kyoku (Memorial for the Dead). The opening section is a sad sigh, the middle section is an emotional cry in the higher register of the shakuhachi, and the final section expresses quiet resignation.
Kokū [track 5], “Empty Sky”, Mukaiji [track 6], “Flute on a Misty Sea”, and Kyorei [track 8], “The bell of nothingness” are considered the “three classics” (Koten-Sankyoku), the three oldest pieces in the shakuhachi repertoire.
Tamuke [track 7], “Hands folded together”, is a requiem piece for the departed souls of the loved ones. It is a prayer for safe passage through life and death.
The CD is not a studio recording. Ambient noise (such as the sound of rain, wind, or a passing truck) was not suppressed, in accordance with the Wabi-sabi (侘寂) idea of simplicity and imperfection.
CD recorded in March & April 2020:
or listen on YouTube
Honkyoku (本曲, "original pieces") are the pieces of shakuhachi music played by mendicant Japanese Zen monks of the Fuke sect called Komusō. Komusō played honkyoku for enlightenment and alms as early as the 13th century. Honkyoku is part of the practice of suizen (吹禅, "blowing meditation"). There are many schools (ryū 流) of honkyoku, each with their own style. The pieces on the present CD belong to the Kinko Ryū (琴古流), named after Kinko Kurosawa, a komusō monk who lived in the 18th Century and who collected 36 honkyoku pieces all over Japan. Three additional pieces were later added to the Kinko Ryū repertoire.
All pieces are performed on a 1.8 Chikuyu - Tajima Tadashi shakuhachi.
listen to some samples: